Flintoff's Powerplay Cricket

No matter how much fans of cricket will try and sway you, there's no doubt that it can be a damn dull sport. As big a fan as we are of the old leather smacking willow, any sport that can pit too teams against each for five days straight, only to end with a draw is never going to be on prime time TV.

Thankfully, it seems Player One continues to understand some cricket fans aren't too fussed with realistic representations of the sport, if this latest addition to the Flintoff endorsed mobile games is anything to go for.

Yet again, the essence here is more of an unadulterated slog than a tactical push to victory. Much like Flintoff's actions in real life, then, if recent years are anything to go by.

Unlike the previous titles which took place in all kinds of environments, this version is a little more realistic, with its setting purely confined to the cricket pitch itself. Don't worry too much, though, as that's where the semblance of realism ends.

Other than that, things are much the same as before. As Freddie Flintoff, you're up against a series of progressively more talented cricketers, and your aim is simple enough: score more runs than they do.

Fitting in with the great arcade, quick-thrill nature of the game, batting is an inherently simple affair. Take a peek at where the bowler fancies chucking his delivery, and line yourself up accordingly. Once the ball leaves his hands, you simply hold down the '5' button in order to charge up your power meter, pick your shot direction with the '4' and '6' keys, and thwack the ball as far and as high as possible to score the maximum number of points.

"But surely 'six' is the highest number of runs one can score from a single ball?", we hear you cry. Not so in Flintoff's Powerplay Cricket. Here, brilliantly, the pitch includes a number of bonus objects. Hit one of them, and watch your score tick over at a hefty rate. Hit a number of them during the 24 balls you're forced to face, and the bonus score increases by two runs every time, meaning that despite the lowly number of balls you face, scores in the hundreds are more the norm than a rarity.

Bowling, too, is much more simplified than most cricketing titles. Again, you first have to stop a moving bar to choose the kind of delivery you'd like, then it's simply a case of placing the marker on your desired spot on the pitch, and watch those bails fly off.

Though a slugfest for the earlier challenges, progression does eventually open up a little more in the way of strategy. The aforementioned bonus system is absolutely essential for thrashing your later opponents, especially as they can strike a ball with unnerving power and accuracy.

All this arcade-like simple gameplay is complemented quite beautifully by some large and colourful graphics. Although the backdrops might lack the variety of previous versions, the vibrant visuals make for a lovely looking mobile title.

So, if it's the immediate thrills of a good old mid-summer slugfest that you seek, you really can't go wrong with the impressively playable Freddie Flintoff's Powerplay Cricket. It might lack the skill and realism of Michael Vaughan's Cricket 07/08, but it more than makes up for it with pure, reliable and hugely enjoyable slogging ability. Which, fittingly, is not unlike Flintoff himself, really.

Flintoff's Powerplay Cricket

It may not be realistic, but this excellent take on cricket is infinitely more fun than watching England lose the Ashes. Again